Tuesday, November 25, 2014

November 24, 2014 - Bangalore

Hello my beloved family and friends!
So this week was a much better week.  I still wasn't able to go out due to still being sick with body pains until Wednesday, but right after i recovered we went out and really got stuff done.  

So we visited John and Simmy this week and we invited them to be baptized.  Once again we brought Frank and Cedrick and they were really helpful again.  So John immediately said yes.  Simmy said he would answer us on Sunday, but he actually answered us on Saturday when we visited him and said yes! So we committed them to be baptized on this Saturday the 29th!!!! So it is getting closer and closer to their date and we have to just finish teaching them a few things this week and get them interviewed and then proceed with the service on Saturday! Elder Bunga and I are really excited for this weekend.  Hopefully everything goes smoothly and they follow through with this commitment.  So in our mission we have a rule that investigators have to come to church 3 weeks in a row before they can be eligible to be baptized.  So this Sunday we weren't seeing them at church yet in the middle of sacrament meeting.  So knowing how important these guys are, we took Cedrick and left the middle of sacrament meeting and went and picked them up and brought them to church just in time.  So they are still eligible to baptized.  But it was great that they were still able to come at the last minute.  They had woken up late that morning, but we still got them to sacrament meeting.

This week we also finally got another appointment with Kishore and since he had been to church three weeks in a row, we were thinking to also have him be baptized on the 29th but when we went to his house, he didn't answer the door or his phone so we were unable to see him so that was quite disappointing.  Stephen (Cedrick's friend) came to church this after we committed him to come.  So that was really great to have him there as well.  We also have a new investigator that Elder Bunga met last Sunday when he went with another Elder while i was sick.  His name is David and i guess he is really interested so hopefully we can meet him this week and teach him.  We also met some of Cedrick's friends in an area so we are planning to go to that area and do some finding there.  

So our highlight of the week was definitely committing John and Simmy to baptism, so I have been really praying so hard to have them go through with this because we have missed out on some baptisms and that has been really disappointing so we have been really excited about these two guys.  They are very awesome guys.  We also got a really good referral this week and this girl lives next to the Pidugu family and she is already committed to be baptized December 21 and is really interested.   

So yes I am feeling better this week and no i didn't have the fever come back after it went away.  About the transfers....apparently transfers with us and a couple other Elders still won't happen until middle of December.  No more concerns yet about the RSS, but i definitely agree about getting sick.  While it was awful, i think it really was made to happen by God because it happened just after this and it made me sick enough to stay in for a week+. 
Yes, we actually can tract.  We have done some door knocking.  There are just certain areas that we don't do that in because they are Muslim areas.  We don't teach Muslims here.  Most of our teachings though has been to Christians.  We have taught a couple of Hindus, but it is very difficult to get them to just believe in Christ.  Most of them have no problem accepting Jesus Christ, but then they believe in both Christ and their Hindu Gods so it is difficult for sure.

Oh hey mom, can you send me a recent picture this week of you next to Trena.  When Elder Bunga found out that you have a twin, he wanted to see a picture of you guys:)  Sounds like Tyler is getting bigger and harder to handle these days but i hope he is being happy.  The movie was good huh? I'm a little disappointed i missed it;) and I am glad you liked the Indian food.  The food here is pretty dang good.  The only thing though is like all we eat is rice haha.

Dad: Better get working out some so you handle Ty huh? Sounds like Mountain View had a really good year which is really surprising but that is awesome! Great achievement for them to make it to the state final.  BSU on a roll now? That's great! Harsin a good coach? BSU bball lost to Wisconsin? did Wisconsin have that big center still? The NBA seems so weird these days...Thunder doing bad, i heard the Cavs aren't very good either...Dang Alabama back to number 1....lame....same old same old with that haha.  KD and westbrook out for a while still...dang it.  Giants are terrible again i guess.  That means next season Manning and Coughlin will be on the hot seat and they will win the Super Bowl;) Yeah i have played ball the last two weeks and this week i did with Cedrick, Stephen, Christian and Frank, the African brothers and it was pretty fun.  They aren't very good but it was still fun.

So Caleb got accepted to Utah State!!! He rarely emails me but he did last week and showed me his acceptance letter so i am really excited for/proud of him.  Maybe when i get home we will be able to hang out together.  Please talk to Aaron for me, tell him i am teaching a lot of Africans and to check out my blog because next week i will post pictures of all of them. haha.  Okay scriptures for the week: 3 Nephi 21:10, Mormon 7:7, Mormon 8:22, and Mormon 9:21, 27.

Thanks so much Dad for being proud of me.  It really means a lot.  You were/are such a great example to me, so it means a lot to have to say that.  I really wish i would have appreciated you and mom a lot more before because you guys did so much for me.  Love you guys so much!!! and miss you a little too;)
Until next week,
Elder Ball

Monday, November 17, 2014

November 17, 2014 - Bangalore

Hello my dear friends and family!

Soooo basically, as some or most of you may heard, i had a pretty rough week this week...I came down with Dengue Fever so from Sunday through Wednesday i had a temperature over 100 and it even got up to 104 at one point.  For those four days i was unable to do anything but lay in bed.  On Thursday and Friday i started feeling a little bit better so i was at least able to move a little bit but i still had a lot of body pains.  So i was either in the apartment, clinic or hospital for the entire time this week.  So we didn't get to teach anybody unfortunately.  On Saturday and Sunday we had District Conference (Stake conference basically) so that was good but i had to go without wearing socks because i got super bad rashes on my legs haha.  President Berrett was pretty impressed though that i made it.  Today i am just starting to get my energy back so this week should be better. 

Simmy and John did come to District Conference which was really good and are wanting to come to church next week again so we are really excited about them.  They are great.  Cedrick and Frank are really helpful because they are giving them fellowship and friendship which is key.  Either Elder Bunga or i should be transferred out of this area soon within the next week or two so we are really hoping that they make enough progress to accept the baptismal invitation this week! We are getting pretty excited about them so hopefully they can be our baptism before our companionship ends.  

So this week wasn't too good.  The RSS is against people that convert to christianity.  so basically against christians, but i was a bigger target because i am white.  So we had interviews with President Berrett this week and he said he was thinking about transferring me out of this area so that i wouldn't be a target.  So we will see what happens.  So only in Bangalore we don't wear tags and yes that is for safety.  We don't have a ton of other things but just if that happens to act and answer truthfully and confidently and if it seems to be a problem, then just offer to go to the police station with them because they have no authority anyway.  So before our personal interviews with the mission president we had companionship interviews so when Elder Bunga and I went in together, we found out that we are leading the mission in the three effort stats: member present lessons, recent convert/less active lessons, and new investigators.  So he was very proud of us for our hard work.  Now we just need to try and turn all of that into baptisms which we are working very hard to do.  

As far as Christmas requests i don't really have any! Just be creative i guess;) But we did get the package this week so thank you so much mom! You are the best.

Yeah Dad i felt terrible this week.  It would definitely have been nice to have my family PA to know what to do haha.  I guess i will have to deal without eem for another 20.5 months though haha.  I will read that scripture for sure this week.  I don't have one this week for you unfortunately so i will give you two next week.  Wow! so Mountain View is in the state championship?! Thats awesome! Go Mavs!  College football is sounding pretty crazy this year! Same with NBA.  Toronto will be good, not sure about Brooklyn.  Washington is good and KD's next destination haha.  Cleveland is second huh? and UTAH?! wow.  Crazy NBA.  Giants must be bad i guess.  and OKC without their studs.  Hopefully they come back soon so that they can get back into the playoff pic.  How is Jabari doing in Milwaukee?
Brother Heyborne is a great teacher it sounds like.  The Book of Mormon is so awesome.  It is incredible how much it can teach us and give us.  How is my Tyler bro doing? i miss that guy so much.  make sure you give him plenty of hugs and kisses from me okay? 

So yeah because of that Dengue Fever i had a pretty rough week mentally this week, so it was good to read these emails from you guys! Just please continue to pray for me as i need your help so much in India! Thank you for your many prayers and your great love and support.  i miss you guys so much. Love you guys! Until Next Week...
Elder Ball

Emails from Sister Berrett - Dengue Fever

Dear Brother and Sister Ball,

Your son called me this week because he was not feeling well.  He had a fever and nausea.  when he was not better a few days later he had an appointment at a clinic that is one of our approved facilities.  The doctor ordered some blood tests done.  Elder Ball learned the next day that he had Dengue Fever.  It is caused from a mosquito bite.  Because his fever responds well to Tylenol and his blood platelet count is normal they have not hospitalized him.  He does need to go in every day for blood work to watch for complications.  He said that he was feeling a little better today.  He did not have much fever and the anti-nausea medicine helped him to be able to eat.  Dengue Fever does cause a lot of head and muscle pain.  There is not much they can give to cure it but only to treat the symptoms.  Sunday was the first day he was sick and the worst part usually lasts about a week.  Hopefully after this weekend he should be feeling better and getting back to normal.

I will let you know if anything changes.  He is in relatively good spirits considering the circumstances.  He is anxious to get back to work.  We appreciate Elder Ball and the good spirit he brings to our mission.

Thank you for sharing your son with us.
Sister Berrett

Dear Brother and Sister Ball,

I can understand your concern about your son.  He is doing much better.  I was surprised to see him at the Saturday Evening session of District Conference last night.  He said he was feeling better.  He was also at conference this morning and looked like he was back to his normal self. 
He is quite a diligent missionary.

Warm Regards,
Sister Berrett

Monday, November 10, 2014

November 10, 2014 - Bangalore

Hello everyone!

So my letter this week will probably be fairly short unfortunately.  I will explain why later.  So overall this week was actually pretty good.  We visited lots of members again and one of our tasks given to us by the Branch President was to start taking the huge copy Book of Mormons to members to give to them to start their challenge.  So we did that this week.  The members are really trusting us a lot more and more willing to come to appointments with us which is key because we are supposed to try and have a member present at every single lesson. 
Oh and so about Elder Bunga, we thought it would be another six weeks but our zone leaders told us this week that it will only be two weeks more because that is when the other new missionaries will be coming so Bunga will go somewhere else and i will probably be training a new missionary.  So i was a little bummed about it but i think Bunga was wanting a change because he has been in this area for 6 months.  So we are really hoping and praying to get one baptism before our companionship ends.  So this weeks i was struggling with my confidence as a teacher and was doubting if i was teaching powerfully enough or if I was adequate enough of a teacher.  So this week on Saturday, Elder Bunga answered my prayers and told me that i teach so good and that when i teach the Spirit is so strong there, and he wishes that he could always just listen to me teach because i do it so well.  I am not meaning to sound at all prideful about this because it was actually really humbling because i was having a hard time with that confidence.  Elder Bunga is so dang awesome.  I sure will miss him.  He might come to BYU for school after his mission so i told him that if he does we will hang out and go see my family and then he said once i come back to India that i could stay with him no problem:)  

Yona is still making up excuses not to see him so i think we are going to lay off of him for a little while.  we haven't been able to get a hold of Chris lately either.  As far as Raju and Yogita from Nelamangala goes, they were busy this week so we are planning to visit them this week.  We visited John and Simmy with Cedrick and Frank again and it was such a good meeting.  They had lots of really good questions.  They speak and understand english but it was great have frank and cedrick there because they can answer them in french.  They are so interested and Simmy already accepted the Book of Mormon as the word of god.  We think Simmy could be our baptismal candidate.  He and John also came to church on sunday and really liked it and had lots of questions afterwords.  So i don't have my journal with me today so this all i can remember about this week.  The reason i don't have it is very interesting as i have a very interesting last few days. 
So saturday evening were headed to give something to the Ramamurthy nagar elders and as we were waiting for a bus, this guy and group of guys (most drunk) came up to elder bunga and asked his name and then came over to ask me mine.  So this guy comes up to me and was trying to take my picture and and video so i told him no about taking that picture.  So i was drinking juice and he ripped the juice from my hand and threw it on the ground and asked my name so i told him.  Then elder bunga came over and this guy began to ask me so many questions about where i live, where i am from, if i have a visa, what i was doing here, etc.  So bunga told him we are students and so the guy said that Sunday morning at 9:30 or 10 they will find out if we really are students and that they had something nice for us.  It turns out this guy is a head of the RSS which a Hindu extremist group.  So that was super scary so we spent the night at the other elders apartment.  Apparently everything will be fine but i was very nervous about this.  So that night i only slept for 10 minutes and it was because i came down with a bad fever.  so i have been really sick for the past two days.  so it has been a really rough past couple days and nights.  

Answers: so the address you sent the package to was one to use.  i still haven't gotten any birthday cards except from you nor have i got anything from grandpa still.  So about the christmas package...peanut butter would be good;) haha but actually i don't really know for sure what i need.  i will think about it this week and tell you next week okay?  Best thing this week was John and Simmy's interest and coming to the church and worst was the RSS incident and getting really sick.  Best thing i ate was probably the cream bun snack i told you about.  I hadn't had them in a while so tasted great to have them again.  And i can't really think of something funny i did.  It is probably in journal which i don't have so im really sorry about the not so good email this week.

Sounds like the thunder are terrible right now...did you find out how long westbrook is out? Perkins should be stepping up more that is for sure haha.  So the Jazz beat the Cavs good huh? how are the cavs? who is impressive in the NBA so far.  That's awesome about the football team! 

Once again sorry for the crap email this week.  I am still not feeling well so i tried to make this email quick enough without leaving you hanging.
Scripture of the week: James 1:22

Well hope you all are doing well and will have a wonderful week this week
Love you all,
Elder Ball

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

November 4, 2014 - Bangalore Pictures

Elder Ball & Elder Bunga (riding to teach investigators in Nelamangala)

Cedrick, Elder Ball, Arun


The District before Elder Kesterson leaves for home (WY)

Elder Ball, Grace, Nique, Elder Bunga
Sister Barathi's birthday
FHE with the Vasanth family

Vincent David's daughter, Jaromia and grandbaby

November 4, 2014 - Bangalore

Hello everybody!
And first of all...Happy Birthday to the best mom in the world! This is a day late because of transfers, but if there weren't transfers i would have said happy birthday on time! Hope your day was great mommy:)
So my week this week was pretty dang good again.  Except i randomly came down with a cold for a couple days which was really weird.  

But this week we did member visits and taught investigators as usual.  So those two investigators we inherited from the Ramamurthy Nagar elders names are Raju and Yogita.  So we planned to go and visit them and meet them and teach them.  So we decided to ask Cedrick if he could go with us so he took us along with a member named Arun in his car.  Those are the car pictures i uploaded.  So we traveled and traveled and traveled and these people live clear out of our way haha.  It took us two hours to get there and the place isn't even in Bangalore.  It is in a town called Nelamangala.  But apparently it is still in our area.  So we got there and they are soooo good.  They are very interested and were very receptive and willing to learn.  They only have one problem....Getting to church every sunday. So they told us they will come twice a month.  First and last sunday of every month.  Which is kind of a bummer because in order to be baptized, investigators have to attend three sacrament meetings in a row.  So we will probably talk to President Berrett about this one and see if we can make an exception because they live so far away from the church.  But it was a good time and we taught them about the Book of Mormon and challenged them to read it so this week we will see if followed through with their commitment.   And Cedrick really opened up to us.  Cedrick has always kind of been a quiet guy but with us this day, he really opened up and said he is always free so to call him and let him know when he can come with us.  So we took him a few times out this week and he is so awesome and has such a strong testimony and we are so glad that he opened up to us.  We also taught his friend Stephen again this week and Stephen is i think making very slow but very sure progress.  

We saw Sister Amudha and her daughter Jaromia last Monday and Jaromia had her baby so Vincent David is now a grandpa.  The baby is so dang cute so i uploaded some pics and thought mom would love newborn baby pics:) We are going to reinvite sister Amudha to be baptized this week to see if she is still willing and ready.  November 1 was a member named Sister Barathi's birthday and they are such a nice family to us so they invited us over to celebrate her birthday so that is whose b-day it is in the pictures.

On Sunday we had a really productive day.  So after church we asked Cedrick if he could come with us to Kothanur and he said yes and we also brought another African named Frank (from Ivory Coast) with us.  We went and taught Logo and he is really good and wants to come to church but his brother Yona hasn't been waking up to come to church so Logo hasn't been able to come with is a bummer.  But then we taught Grace and Nique (Pictured with Elder Bunga and I).  We taught them about prophets and had a really good discussion.  Toward the end it kind of turned into a bible bash because Frank (who is a return missionary of two years) was pulling out scriptures left and right and Grace and Nique were having a hard time accepting them even though they were in the bible.  But nevertheless, the discussion was still pretty good and they were willing to let us come teach them again so i guess that is good.  Then we went and taught Simmy and John and they have still been busy with exams so they haven't started reading the BoM yet, but they promised us that they will start on Thursday after exams and then that they would come to church on Sunday.  

So we have really been gaining the trust of the members and really trying to become close with them so they are more willing to help us so that has been good.  The Pidugu's are such a great family and they are so nice to us and feed us every once in a while which is nice;)  We went last night to brother Vasanth's house for family home evening (pictured).  It was a really good family home evening.  Our Branch President got an assignment in Chennai for his job so it is a bummer that he can only come to church twice a month so we are wondering if we will get a new Branch Presidency soon.  

So a good week for us and on to transfer news: so Elder Bunga and i will be together for at least another 6 weeks! We are very excited about that and really hoping we can get a baptism before our companionship ends.  The assistants said that they are keeping us together because we are doing so well together.  So that is really good.  The picture with all the missionaries is our district.  It was our last meeting with Elder Kesterson as our District Leader because he is going home on Thursday.  The elders are Martinez, and Mulampaka.  

I'm glad you guys had a great week as well.  Answers: Highlight of the week was probably not getting a transfer call and finding out Elder Bunga and I are still a team because we are doing so well.  Lowlight: probably getting a cold or having zero investigators at church. New about the culture is that it is bad to yawn at someones house or while talking to them because that means you think they are boring.  Really surprising was not getting a transfer call because it isn't that common that comps stay together for longer than three months especially comps that are in the training program.  Oh and no i didn't get grandpa's letter...

Dad: OkC will really have a hard time without KD and Westbrook....NFL seems weird this year though...Cowboys, cardinals lions all doing good...weird.  Sounds like Kole is having quite the year! tell him i say "Atta boi" The college football top ten is weird too! Mississippit St.?! Mississippi?! TCU?! what the heck is going on?! haha.  Thanks for the great SC update.  It was awesome.  So it is also beginning to cool down a bit here but by cool down i mean to 70s and 80s haha.  Bunga thinks it is cold but i think it is perfect haha.  Thanks for the reminder about my call.  I read it a few times since i have been out but probably could read it more.  So yes i am starting to gain back some of my weight.  And getting a little bit of a rice belly at times haha.  Don't get too trunky Dad;) It's okay to get a little trunky but pretend you still have 21 months left like me haha.  You're awesome pops and a great example to me.  Thanks for words of advice.

So scripture of the week: Alma 26:11-12, Alma 37:46  Well I love you all and hope you all have a wonderful week! Thanks for you love support and prayers.
Elder Ball